How to Become a Web Expert Without Spending A Dime
If I could show how to become a Web design, development or marketing expert without spending a dime, would you want to learn?
Imagine being your own boss, setting your own hours and being passionate, engaged and thrilled during almost every hour of the working day. Visualize people coming to YOU for answers to their most important Internet-related questions. Envisage emails and phone calls flooding in every day with prospective customers ready to pay you for your knowledge. Read on to learn the secret to achieving all of this.
First, it’s important to develop discretion and discernment skills, and patience. There are a million Web study programs online, many e-books, many self-proclaimed Internet gurus and so much information nowadays that it can be overwhelming. You could easily spend a fortune and still not be an expert at anything. I don’t suggest you go this route.
But you may be asking: Where should I learn Web marketing? What websites should I visit? Who’s an expert and who’s a scam artist? Should I go to school for it? Who are the people I ought to be listening to? What are the most important things I should learn? How do I learn HTML? How do I learn how to program? How do I make money with an ecommerce website? The answer to all of these questions is . . .
Before I explain, let me tell you a quick story of my early professional life. I barely knew how to plug a computer in when I was a college student. It was only after living on both coasts playing and working as a musician did I conclude that a career in computers may make me a few more bucks a career in music. I decided I wanted to become a Web expert. It was a creative and challenging field and I could see that there might be a huge need for webmasters in the near future.
I had first considered attending a high-priced computer school that a computer specialist friend had recommended. But I was broke, and the school cost a fortune, so the school was out of the question.
My options were limited, but I diligently looked in the Want Ads till I found a job that I could possibly do that was related to computers. The job title was “Internet Exploration Specialist”. I know that sounds slightly strange, but if you had met my chair-throwing, wild-eyed and eccentric boss-to-be, it would make a little more sense.
I got the job and looking back, it was probably one the best things I could have ever done (minus the maniacal boss, that is). I learned how to surf the Web. I became an expert Internet peruser, a digital explorer, a website connoisseur, and a professional information superhighway surveyor.
At around the same time I learned one of the secrets to becoming an expert at anything. You have to put the time in. People who remain working in careers that they hate don’t put in the extra time to develop a career in something they love. It’s that simple. There really is no other way, besides lottery-winning luck or nepotism perhaps. So while I had down time at work, I read books and found websites that taught me how to do things related to the Web. More importantly, I spent time after work and on the weekends reading, practicing and developing my skills.
I have a friend who asked me many years ago how I got became a Web professional. I explained how I labored at it after work almost every night for years. He was an account representative at a local Internet Service Provider (ISP) and it wasn’t what he wanted to do.
He wanted do something that he was passionate about. I suggested that he do the same thing I did and work at something new on his free time. He said that was impossible, he was just too busy. You know what he does today? He’s an account representative at a local Internet Service Provider.
Back when I began developing my Web career, the Internet wasn’t as big as it is today. There weren’t as many options for learning Web-related skills. Since I had no money, I simply searched for free online tutorials, primers and how-to’s. They became my staple for learning. People were still struggling with what to put online back then, so there were gems to be found, and since I had seriously developed my Web surfing skills, I inevitably found many highly educational websites.
Today it’s different. This is both good news and bad news. I’ll start with the bad news.
You can’t throw a rock into the Internet ocean today and NOT hit a get-rich-quick plan, a super Web marketing program, an Internet expert curriculum, or an e-marketing “expert”. You’ve got StomperNet, Portal Feeder, Pipeline Profits, Strategic Profits, The Rich Jerk and Traffic Secrets to name only a few. There’s too much to choose from and they are all expensive. Many of these programs may teach you a lot, but it will cost you. I suggest that you don’t need to spend any money to learn all you need to know. You’re reading this for free, right?
But here’s the good news.
Because of the way Google ranks websites now, because the very nature of the Internet as man’s most prolific and complete resource on everything, and because of human nature being curious and information-driven, the Web has massive amounts of extremely useful, high-quality and free information. People are falling all over each other trying to produce and publish high-quality Web content at no cost to you.
As I just mentioned, Google is driving force in Internet content creation. One fundamental way Google ranks a website is by how many authoritative sites link back to that website. The best way to get new links pointing to your site is by creating useful content that can be accessed by anyone. People will invariably link to high-quality, original content.
And here’s more good news. Of all the subjects there are in the world, and therefore all of the subjects discussed online, the Web and Web-related tasks and skills are the most popular.
Think about it. Who’s doing all the publishing? Webmasters. And what do webmasters know best? The Web. So you’re going to find a large amount of tutorials, primers, articles, forum posts, blogs and websites that offer tons of very useful information on how to become good at all kinds of Web-related things, and all at no charge.
Here are a few tips for effectively searching online:
- Open up two or three browser windows (or tabs) at a time. One should have Google, the next Yahoo or Bing and the third should be your working browser. Use all three browsers when searching by toggling to each of them. Toggling is achieved by pressing ALT+TAB. By using different search engines, you’ll get a wide range of different results.
- Use the minus sign to weed out superfluous results. For example, if you’re looking for event tickets and you type in “Boston tickets”, you’ll end up with lots of airline related results. Instead use “Boston event tickets” –airline –flights.
- Use long tail search phrases when using a search engine. Long tail means more specific, hyper focused and longer search phrases. The more specific your search phrase is, the more relevant results you’ll get. For example, searching in Google for “free tutorials for beginner web marketers and expert career advice” instead of “web marketing tutorials” will yield more relevant results for you.
- Use quotes around your phrases to find exact phrases.
- Get creative in your searching. Combine concepts. For example, search for “marketing blogs”, “webmaster forums for learning html”, “web marketing tips for beginners”, “web design and webmaster blogs how to design a site”, “e- marketing links”, “a list of the best web marketing tutorials” or “how to learn web development”.
- Don’t just use search engines. Join forums like WebmasterWorld, DigitalPoint, SitePoint, and Moz, visit blogs, and read how-to’s and tutorials found in article directories.
- Go to and participate in Web 2.0 sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Technorati, Reddit, or Squidoo.
- Become good friends with your Favorites or Bookmarks feature in your browser. Set it up so you develop a well-organized, useful list of websites, You can also use online bookmarking sites such as Del.iciou.us. or other Internet destinations and Web pages and posts that you can constantly refer back to.
Becoming an expert Web marketer or Web developer can be done by putting aside time every day to learn your craft and by becoming good at finding the right information online that’s free. The more you search for useful information, the better you’ll become at it, and it will soon take you less and less time to find what you want.
The answer to all the questions above: you’ll need discipline, patience and great searching skills. The searching skills come to you by simply practicing, by putting the time in online. Everything you need to know to become a Web expert without spending a dime is literally a few clicks away online and absolutely free. Get to work.